One of the hottest topics in automotive lightweighting involves the impact of low oil prices. The main debate seems to be centered on the question of whether OEMs and suppliers will defer their development projects for lightweight enabling technologies and processes because of low oil prices. It may help to understand what is behind the […]

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While there have been major improvements in material application time, energy consumption, and emissions generation, the assembly plant paint shop process remains as the largest cost/time constraint in vehicle manufacturing. However, even more change in materials, processes, and equipment will come with the vehicle lightweighting targets necessary to meet future emissions and fuel economy regulations. […]

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As a child you may have played connect the dots by taking your pencil from dot to dot to create an image. Now in the professional world you may view random dots, not as an image, but as powerful trending data points, or in this case, a roadmap for lightweighting of future automotive vehicles.  Let’s look […]

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Vehicle lightweighting sounds like a no brainer: lighter materials enable lighter, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. That means fuel savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. For OEMs, add to that ever-stricter CAFE and emission standards and lightweighting looks like a slam-dunk. Or is it? There are drawbacks: ·     Processing costs. While lightweighting materials can raise […]

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When you get down to it, the word “innovation” has two parts: INVENT and ACTION. If there is no action after the invention, then it is just a mental exercise.  “ACTION” in the automotive world is complicated. This is particularly true when it comes to introducing lightweight material into today’s vehicles. In order to make […]

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Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” The revolution to “horse-less carriages” made of rubber and steel made its way to the history books long ago. Today, engineers are grappling with a revolutionary menu of high-strength steels, aluminum, magnesium, plastics and composite lightweight materials […]

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